- Davao Travel Requirements and Guidelines | COVID-19 New Normal
- 1. Who are allowed to go to Davao?
- 2. What are the entry points in Davao?
- 3. What travel requirements do you need to prepare?
- 4. What are the guidelines and protocols to follow when you're in Davao?
- 5. What activities can you do in Davao during quarantine?
- Best Time to Go to Davao
- Dry and Summer Season | January to May
- Kadayawan Festival | August
- Climate and Weather
- What to Wear
- How to Get to Davao
- By Flights
- By Ferry
- Getting Around
- Where to Stay in Davao
- Types of Accommodations
- Neighborhoods and Areas
- Accommodation Highlights in Davao
- What to See and Do in Davao
- Go Island-Hopping to Samal Island
- Hike Mount Apo
- Explore Eden Nature Park
- Visit the Philippine Eagle Center
- Check out the Malagos Chocolate Museum
- Go Sightseeing in Kadayawan Village
- What to Eat and Drink in Davao
- Local Cuisine
- Recommended Best Restaurants and Bars
- Practical Information and Tips
- Sample Itinerary in Davao
- Day 1: Davao Sightseeing
- Day 2: Island-Hopping in Samal Island
- Day 3: Davao City Sightseeing + Departure
Experience Davao's melting pot of culture. Learn about the top tourist spots that you should visit, where the best resorts and hotels are, and which finest delicacies to try. Make the most out of your trip by reading this travel guide.
There are many beautiful destinations worth visiting when planning your trip to Mindanao in the Philippines. One of the places that you should highly consider going to first is Davao. A trip here will treat you to a fun escapade to beaches, waterfalls, and food adventures.
- Find the best Davao trips and experiences that you can add to your travel plans
Davao is blessed with several natural resources, that’s why it’s a nature lover's perfect destination. For one, Davao is home to the Philippine Eagle. Also known as the Monkey-Eating Eagle, the Philippine Eagle is an endangered species endemic to the country.
Davao is also famous for its fruits such as pomelo, rambutan, lanzones, and durian that are must-tries.
See our popular Davao Tours and Activities
Mount Apo, the highest mountain and volcano in the Philippines can also be found in Davao. Because of its elevation and sheer magnificence, Mount Apo is a popular climbing destination. If you’re an experienced hiker, Mount Apo will prove to be a memorable hiking trip.
Two kilometers off the coast of the city of Davao is the pristine Samal Island. This beautiful island is endowed with white sand beaches and sparkling azure waters. If you want a tropical paradise that is a mere hour away from the convenience of a city, read on and start taking notes. Davao City will surely captivate you.
Davao Travel Requirements and Guidelines | COVID-19 New Normal
Travelers who want to experience Davao’s natural attractions and tourist spots can now do so as long as they comply with the local government’s guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
1. Who are allowed to go to Davao?
All tourists regardless of vaccination status who want to visit Davao City can freely enter without presenting any documents, except those that will be needed for security checks, such as a valid ID.
Those who want to explore the rest of Davao Province are allowed, as long as they follow the requirements of their destination’s local government unit. These include a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Davao, a valid Safe Davao QR code from profiles.safe-davao.com, pre-booking at DOT-accredited hotels and resorts in Davao, and registration with staysafe.ph.
2. What are the entry points in Davao?
The most convenient way to get to here is via a flight to Davao's Francisco Bangoy International Airport, more commonly known as Davao International Airport. You can also fly from different airports in the country to get here. Some of the most common routes are a Manila to Davao flight, Cebu to Davao flight, and Cagayan to Davao flight.
3. What travel requirements do you need to prepare?
Here are the requirements that you need to prepare before going to Davao Province:
Davao de Oro
Davao del Norte
Those visiting Samal Island need to be fully vaccinated* and must be able to present a vaccination card to prove their fully vaccinated status.
Check out our list of the best Samal Island resorts
Davao del Sur
Only fully vaccinated individuals are allowed to enter Davao Occidental for leisure purposes. They need to present a vaccination card that proves their fully vaccinated status.
Negative RT-PCR or saliva RT-PCR test result 3 days prior to travel
Pre-booking at DOT-accredited hotels and resorts in Davao
Registration with staysafe.ph
Those visiting Mati City who are fully vaccinated* are exempted from presenting a negative COVID-19 test but must be able to present a vaccination card to prove their fully vaccinated status. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals traveling to Mati City need to present a negative RT-PCR test result.
*A fully vaccinated individual is someone who has more than or equal to 2 weeks after having received the second dose in a 2-dose vaccine; or more than or equal to 2 weeks after having received a single-dose vaccine
A valid Safe Davao QR Code
You can get this by registering at profiles.safe-davao.com. You can choose to have a printed copy or store it on your phone. You’ll need to present this when entering and exiting Davao.
Registration with StaySafe
StaySafe.ph is a contact tracing platform that you need to use in your visit to Davao. You can use the website or download the app for faster logging.
Must not have any COVID-19 symptoms
All travelers will be screened upon arrival. Those who exhibit symptoms will be held for testing in a government facility.
4. What are the guidelines and protocols to follow when you're in Davao?
Once you're in Davao, make sure you follow these safety requirements:
Minimum health standards: Mask and face shield
All residents and domestic tourists must wear face masks, face shields, wash hands regularly and practice proper social distancing especially in public establishments. This is to help reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 disease.
5. What activities can you do in Davao during quarantine?
Outdoor Davao tourist spots are open to travelers but with a limited number of tourists allowed. Make sure you book your tours with a DOT-accredited tour operator or travel agency, stay at a DOT-accredited hotel or resort, and follow all the guidelines that will be implemented by the local government.
Best Time to Go to Davao
When planning your trip to Davao, it's essential to take note of the season, climate and weather to have a hassle-free adventure. This is to avoid canceled trips due to inclement weather that might occur at any time of day.
It is also essential when packing your things, as it would serve as a guideline on what you have to bring and wear during your trip to Davao.
Dry and Summer Season | January to May
As with the whole Philippines, Davao City only has two seasons, the dry summer season and the wet season. If you have a lot of outdoor destinations included in your Davao itinerary, it's best to book flights to the Philippines during the dry months of January to April.
These months have the least chances of rainfall, so you can fully enjoy the outdoor activities and water adventures.
Kadayawan Festival | August
Davao celebrates its annual Kadayawan Festival every third week of August. Recognized as the “Mother of all Mindanao festivals” Kadayawan is an extravagant affair that features flower floats parades, street dancing, and trade fairs.
The festival is held in commemoration of Davao’s indigenous people and their contribution to the city’s rich cultural heritage. Kadayawan Festival is also a thanksgiving celebration for a bountiful harvest. Visiting Davao City during the Kadayawan Festival is a great way to experience the city and be immersed in its vibrant culture.
Climate and Weather
Before heading to the city, make sure to check Davao weather updates to avoid any problems during your trip. Learning about the climate and weather of your destination is the best way to prevent canceled plans due to inclement weather conditions.
Take note that Davao weather does not vary significantly throughout the year. However, March, April, and May are the hottest months in Davao City, with an average daily high of 32°C.
On the other hand, the cool season starts in December and lasts through February, with an average daily high temperature below 31°C. January is the coldest month of the year with and an average low of 24°C.
Here’s a summary of the average temperature in Davao City.
Source: Weather Spark
The ideal time to visit Davao City for hot-weather activities would be from early January to May. These months are perfect because they receive less rainfall than the other months. Here’s a summary of the average monthly rainfall in Davao City:
Source: Weather Spark
What to Wear
Davao weather can be humid during the summer season, it's best to wear light, breathable clothes as the weather can get hot and humid. If you’re coming to Davao from June to November, bring an umbrella or jacket since these months are the rainy season.
How to Get to Davao
Luckily for travelers looking for their next tropical getaway, Davao is easy to reach. Thanks to its international airport, Davao is highly accessible from other airports in the Philippines, as well as from select international airports abroad. Travelers can also catch daily flights to Manila from here.
Davao has its own airport, the Francisco Bangoy International Airport commonly referred to as the Davao International Airport. It is the main gateway to Mindanao, so it is naturally the busiest airport in Mindanao and the third busiest in the Philippines.
Aside from being connected to major jump-offs all over the Philippines, Davao Airport is also connected to a number of international airports.
If you’re coming from outside of the Philippines, you can travel to Davao directly, or you can fly to either Manila-Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Luzon or Mactan-Cebu International Airport in the Visaya.
From International Destinations
Davao International Airport is connected to international destinations like Hongkong, Singapore, Indonesia, and Taiwan. Wherever you are in the world, you can fly to those countries and hop on a plane headed directly for Davao City.
From Luzon and Visayas
You also have the option to fly to the major jump-off points across the country. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Airport in Manila, Luzon is connected to several countries in Asia, Middle East, Oceania, North America, and Europe. From NAIA, you can fly directly to Davao International Airport.
Flying in from Clark to Davao, it is also a good choice if you’re coming from the Northern part of Luzon or if you want to avoid the traffic in Manila. Airfares from Clark are usually lower than Manila. Luckily, Clark International Airport is connected to Korea, Taiwan, Hongkong, and Singapore.
You can also fly in from the Visayas region by taking Bohol to Davao flight or Bacolod to Davao flight, among others. A flight from Cebu is also a popular choice as the Mactan-Cebu International Airport is now connected to 21 international destinations including, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
If you will be coming from Mindanao, you can take a Zamboanga to Davao flight as well.
Traveling to Davao via ferry is also possible, albeit less convenient. There are no ports that accommodate long-distance passenger ferries within the city. If you’re coming from Manila or Cebu, you will be docking at Nasipit Port in Agusan del Norte which is approximately 6 hours away from Davao City.
2Go Travel offers ferry routes from Manila to Nasipit Port twice a week. The travel time typically takes 33 hours and 30 minutes. Likewise, only 2Go Travel has routes from Cebu to Nasipit Port.
There are trips thrice a week with travel time lasting 8 hours. The sailing durations and trip frequency may vary from season to season, so be sure to check the schedule before you plan your trip.
You will need to learn how to get around Davao to reach tourist attractions. Strap on because Davao has a variety of transportation options. The primary mode of transport is the jeepney, which has specific routes that can take you around the city. Jeepneys, multicabs, buses, and tricycles serve as general transport.
Taxicabs can also be hired to take you to other parts of Davao. Alternatively, you can rent a car in Davao for maximum comfort and convenience. Just make sure you have all the requirements to rent a car in the Philippines. Taxi booking apps are also available in Davao.
Jeepneys or jeeps are the most popular means of public transportation in the Philippines along major highways. They ply specific routes that can take you around the city.
Riding these open-aired vehicles in congested streets offers an interesting experience for first-time visitors. You can use this Davao City Jeepney Guide App to help you find and ride the right jeepney route.
Motorized tricycles, or simply tricycles, are the Philippine version of the auto-rickshaw. They are also comparable to Thailand’s tuk-tuk. Tricycles ply the barangay roads throughout the Davao City; they typically go where the jeepneys can’t.
Tricycles can’t pass by major roads, but you can hail one anywhere as long as you’re not on the highway.
Van or Car Rental
If you’re traveling from the city to the rural towns, you might need to get on a bus, ride a jeepney afterward, and possibly hop on a tricycle. Multiple transfers are unavoidable if you’re traveling to the further towns of the province via public transportation. If this isn’t comfortable for you, you can opt for self-drive car rentals in the Philippines. Booking a Davao car rental or a van rental in the Philippines is your best option, or if you can indulge, book a budget car rental in the Philippines, SUV rental in the Philippines, or luxury car rental in the Philippines.
There are plenty of taxi cabs in Davao. They're one of the easiest modes of getting around, but they can also be quite costly since Davao is a huge city. You can hail one almost anywhere.
The best thing about Davao taxis is that unlike those in Metro Manila who usually pick passengers, Davao taxi drivers will take you to your destination without second thoughts.
Taxi Booking App
Typically, commuting in Davao entails riding more than one public transportation. If you can’t stand going through multiple transfers, then you can opt to take a taxi or book with the Grab Taxi app.
While Grab Taxi is usually more expensive than riding jeepneys or buses, these can ensure you can get around safely and in comfort. You don’t have to do multiple transfers, which is convenient for travelers coming from and going to the airport.
There are also buses in Davao. However, buses exclusively ply the north to south route. Riding a bus is a great way to go in and out of the city. You can also ride a bus to get to Samal Island. The Island City Express Bus can take you to Samal Island via the barge-ferry at Sasa Ferry Terminal.
Another mode of transportation you can take to reach Samal Island is a water taxi. Water taxis bring locals and international travelers to and from Samal Island and Davao. There are daily water taxi trips to the Island Garden City of Samal. You catch the water taxi at Sta. Ana Wharf in Davao. The water taxi can transport up to 4 passengers.
Where to Stay in Davao
You won’t run out of options when it comes to accommodations in Davao City or Samal Island. If you’re on a budget, there are several affordable hotels in Davao you can choose from.
If you’re traveling with family or you prefer private rooms that are reasonably priced, you’ll find mid-range Davao hotels or vacation rentals that will fit your needs. On the other hand, if you’re after an ultra-luxe experience, there are several luxury resorts in Davao and Samal Island that will cater to your creature comforts.
Types of Accommodations
Where you'll stay in Davao depends on your preference, the number of people staying, and your budget. Here are some of the types of accommodation you can find in Davao.
Island and Beach Resorts
Samal Island won’t disappoint when it comes to island and beach resorts. Some offer complete facilities, i.e., spa and restaurant, while some provide basic amenities, such as an airconditioned room but with access to the beachfront. It solely depends on your preference.
Whether you're in Davao for business or pleasure, there are a lot of hotels where you can stay that offers complete amenities. There are hotels near the airport, hotels in Davao. You have to find the right location that fits your itinerary.
While in Davao, you can rent a private house. It is an excellent option for large groups who want to save money but don't want to sacrifice essential amenities such as kitchen and laundry. Some even offer indoor pools and gardens. Make sure to check the neighborhood of the vacation house first before you rent it as it might be far from the various tourist spots you plan on visiting.
Budget Lodges and Inns
For more affordable accommodations, you have several options when it comes to budget-friendly lodges, inns, or guesthouses. Davao budget inns offer basic amenities that are great for solo travelers or a backpacker on a budget. You can stay in a dorm-type room and still get standard amenities in a private room.
Neighborhoods and Areas
When choosing where to stay, you need to know first the main area where you can book accommodations in Davao. As mentioned, Davao is the largest city in the Philippines in terms of land area.
You’ll want to book your lodgings near the central point of your Davao itinerary, or near major commercial establishments where you can quickly run to replenish travel supplies. Read on to find out the best area to book your accommodations.
The downtown area of Davao is where most of the action happens. Also referred to as Poblacion or the Poblacion District, Downtown Davao is where you’ll find the Central Business District, parks, churches, and several commercial establishments such as shopping malls, restaurants, banks, and hotels.
This is also where most jeepneys and tricycles converge. As such, the downtown area is also the busiest part of Davao. Truly, the downtown area is the heart of Davao. It is a good mid-way point between Davao tourists spot and it has everything a traveler needs. Hence, booking your lodgings here is an excellent idea.
Samal Island is a mere two kilometers away from Davao. This pristine island paradise boasts fine white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Samal Island is also home to several beach resorts and hotels.
If you plan to spend most of your travel vacation by the beach, booking a room in Samal Island itself is a good choice. There are several beach-side properties in the island that range from budget to luxury. Aside from swimming, you can also explore other Samal Island attractions such as the Hagimit Falls and the Bat Cave.
Accommodation Highlights in Davao
Most accommodations in Davao range from luxury, mid-range, and budget-friendly. Depending on your preference, here are some of the best accommodations in all budget types.
If you prefer to allocate a bigger chunk of your budget on exploring your destination, then you can opt for these budget lodgings. Budget hotels and inns in Davao offer basic amenities that are enough to make your stay comfortable while allowing you to splurge more on your itinerary.
Make sure to book in advance instead of just walking in so you can get the best rooms. These affordable hotels in Davao are highly-recommended.
If you're looking for a place to spend the night in, check out the budget-friendly Homitori Dormitel. Homitori Dormitel is located within the downtown area and is only 30-minutes walking distance from the city center.
It is also just four kilometers away from the SM Lanang Premier. This hotel offers complete amenities suitable for any type of travelers. They offer non-smoking air-conditioned rooms and dorm-type rooms with wifi.
The budget hotel chain Zen Rooms have a branch along Davao’s Roxas Avenue. This highly affordable lodging is situated inside Downtown Davao as well. It is flanked by several restaurants and is also near major transportation terminals.
ZEN Rooms Roxas Avenue is also a 34-minute drive to Davao’s Francisco Bangoy International Airport. Their air-conditioned rooms are equipped with free wifi, cable TV, and a hot shower.
Another excellent no-frills budget hotel in Davao that is located in the downtown area is the GV Hotel. This economy accommodation is 8-minutes walking distance from Museo Dabawenyo and is also near commercial establishments.
GV Hotel offers single standard rooms, twin rooms, and family deluxe rooms. You can also choose between a fan room and an air-conditioned room.
Punta del Sol
Punta del Sol is a beachfront resort in Samal Island that offers budget accommodations that are perfect for solo travelers, couples, and large groups. This humble resort has complete facilities and offers a wide array of water activities and lodgings.
They also have a restaurant, cottages, and function halls. You can choose to pitch a tent and camp at the resort or book one of their affordable lodging options. Punta del Sol offers air-conditioned rooms, fan rooms, dormitory rooms, and private rooms.
If you’re traveling with family or friends and prefer somewhere cozier but still reasonably priced, mid-range hotels are perfect for you. It is if you want plusher beds and you have more leeway budget-wise. These mid-range accommodations can accommodate solo, couples, and groups.
Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort
If you're looking for an affordable alternative to Pearl Farm in Samal Island, you can stay at Paradise Island and Beach Resort. It has its own private beach area where you get to enjoy beach-related activities and water sports.
It has its own open-are restaurant and snack bar which offers both local and international cuisines. Their rooms are equipped with basic amenities such as a personal safe and a private bathroom
North Zen Hotel
This mid-range hotel is for those travelers who want to experience a comfortable stay but don't want to splurge. They have their own sauna, coffee shop, and a restaurant. North Zen Hotel is in Downtown Davao and is merely three blocks from Gaisano Mall.
It also only 10-minutes walking distance from Victoria Plaza and Abreeza. Their rooms are fully equipped with a flat-screen TV, wifi, and other basic amenities. The location is accessible to a couple of tourist attractions.
Crown Regency Residences Davao
Crown Regency Residences Davao is an excellent mid-range lodging option that will give you value for your money. It is conveniently located within the downtown area. Crown Regency has an outdoor pool, a pool-side bar, spa, gym, and a rooftop garden.
It is also only a 10-minute drive from SM Lanang Mall and Abreeza Mall. Crown Regency offers air-conditioned rooms that are equipped with free wifi and cable TV. Some of their rooms even feature a private balcony and sitting area.
If you like to travel in style and you have the resources to book premium accommodations, then you’ll love our list of luxury recommendations. These are the hotels you’ll get the VIP treatment you deserve.
Most of them offer top-notch amenities not found in other hotels. You'll have a lot of choices when it comes to accommodations in Davao. Check out these various hotels and resorts:
Marco Polo Davao
This exquisite 5-star hotel offers top quality accommodation that has all the comforts you need. It has its own outdoor pool, a fitness center, a spa, and 5 dining options.
All of their air-conditioned rooms have carpeted flooring equipped with complete amenities such as an en-suite bathroom, a flat-screen TV, and a safe. The hotel overlooks Mount Apo and is near various city malls.
Located on Samal Island, this accommodation offers luxurious facilities and villas with an ethnic-inspired aesthetic. It has two outdoor pools, a restaurant and a bar overlooking the panoramic view of Davao. It features eco-friendly air-conditioned rooms complete with luxurious amenities such as a minibar and en-suite bathroom.
For those who aren't traveling on a tight budget, Seda Abreeza Hotel in Davao is your best bet. Aside from it being near the port to Samal Island, their floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views of the city.
All of their rooms are equipped with top-tier amenities such as cable TV, an iPod dock, a minibar, and many more. They also have an E-lounge located at the hotel's lobby.
What to See and Do in Davao
Davao has so much to offer to travelers. The city is an excellent blend of both natural and manmade attractions which are top destinations for both local and international travelers.
Whether you want to know more about the cultural heritage of the city, go on an adventurous trip or relax and have fun, there are a lot of Davao tourist spots that you can explore.
Go Island-Hopping to Samal Island
A trip to Davao would not be complete without checking out Samal Island. You can swim to your heart’s content in the sparkling waters of Samal, or you can take your Davao adventure to the next level by going on a Samal Island-hopping escapade.
The tour can take you to other neighboring islands such as Malipano Island, Diaz Island, Taklobo Sanctuary, and Dela Paz Island. You can swim, snorkel, or simply enjoy a leisurely beach walk along the Starfish Sanctuary. The best part of the island hopping is getting to visit the stunning Samal Coral Garden.
- Check out other destinations where you can experience island hopping in the Philippines
You will be given free goggles so you can witness this underwater marvel. The vibrant and gigantic corals of Samal’s expansive coral garden will take your breath away.
Hike Mount Apo
If you’re an experienced hiker looking for your next challenging climb, then head to Davao where you can find the Philippines ‘ highest mountain, Mount Apo. Considered as the King of Philippine Peaks, Mount Apo is also on top of the list of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia.
- Learn more about hiking in the Philippines
The mountain an elevation of 10,311 feet. Because of the level of difficulty, climbing Mount Apo is only recommended for experienced climbers. The stunning landscape makes up for the extreme conditions you will experience when braving Mount Apo. Most experienced hikers climb the summit for the months of March, April, and October.
Before reaching the top of Mount Apo, you will come across a mystical crater lake naturally created by volcanic activities. This mountain also houses rubber plantations as well as the Tudaya Fall, along with wild deer and boars.
Explore Eden Nature Park
Photo by Eden Nature Park
Eden Nature Park is an expansive eco-adventure complex nestled in the hills of Davao. If you want to commune with nature, try out exciting recreational activities, or simply relax, then include Eden Nature Park in your Davao itinerary.
Eden Nature Park has a number of attractions that you can tour via a guided shuttle. There is a Bird Park where you can check out their aviaries and the different birds that call them home. You can also find a Deer Park which houses over thirty Philippine Deers. If you love flowers, Eden’s flower garden will surely delight you.
You can also go on a short hike through the Park’s hiking trails. If you’re curious about the indigenous tribes in Mindanao, Tinubdan Cultural Park will fascinate you. Take your Eden Nature Park adventure up a notch by trying their heart-pumping activities such as the skyrider, skycycle, and the sky swing.
Visit the Philippine Eagle Center
The Philippine Eagle or the Monkey-Eating Eagle is an endangered species that can only be found in the Philippines. It is also considered as the national bird of the country. To protect and conserve these birds of prey, the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao was established.
The Philippine Eagle Center is a conservation breeding facility, but it has also developed into one of the top tourist destinations in Davao.
The center is home to 36 Philippine Eagles, with 18 of them are captive-bred. It is also a sanctuary for 10 other species of birds, 4 species of mammals, and 2 species of reptiles.
Here you can watch the magnificent eagles feed and fly freely in a large protected enclosure. The Philippine Eagle Every cent that is donated to the Philippine Eagle Center is spent on the conservation of the country’s national bird.
This center dedicated efforts and time to protect the endangered species while providing an interesting and fun platform for locals and visitors.
Check out the Malagos Chocolate Museum
Malagos Chocolate is undoubtedly one of Davao’s pride. This home-grown chocolate brand is world-renowned for its tree-to-bar fine chocolate products. You can have the tree-to-bar experience first hand at their Chocolate Museum which is part of the Malagos Garden Resort.
The museum is the highlight of the Malagos Garden Resort walking tour. The Malagos Chocolate Museum is the first of its kind in the country. It features interactive installations and exhibits that educate visitors on the wonders of the Cacao tree and the magic behind chocolate-making.
You can sample the world-famous Malagos Chocolate at the Chocolate Bar, or you can take your experience to another level by trying to make your own chocolate at the Malagos Chocolate Laboratory.
Go Sightseeing in Kadayawan Village
If you want to get a glimpse of how the indigenous and ethnic tribes of Davao used to live, then head to the Kadayawan Village in Magsaysay Park. Located within the downtown area, Kadayawan Village presents travelers with an opportunity to appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the city as well as Philippine architecture.
The Village depicts the lives and culture of the Lumad (indigenous) and the Moro (Muslim peoples of Mindanao). Here you can see the intricacy and beauty of tribal houses of the 11 ethnic tribes, such as Bagobo-Klata, Ata, Matigsalug and Ovu Manovu, through life-size exhibits.
You can also witness a performance of the cultural dance while in the village. Be sure to include the Kadayawan Village when sightseeing in Davao’s downtown area.
For a more comprehensive list of tourist attractions and things to do in Davao, read our Things to Do in Davao City article
What to Eat and Drink in Davao
Any traveler would be famished after exploring the many tourist attractions of Davao. Luckily, Davao is a treasure trove of culinary experiences and unique local treats.
Davao is famous for its fresh and high-quality fruits such as Pomelo, Rambutan, Lanzones, and many more. It’s most famous produce, however, is the durian.
Considered as the “King of Fruits”, the durian is known for its strong pungent aroma and its unique flavor. Underneath the thorns of the durian is a thick savory-sweet yellow meat like no other.
The popularity of durian has inspired different flavored delicacies; from durian yema (a sticky sweet made from egg yolk), durian candy, durian Tart, durian Ice Cream, and even durian Cake. A trip to Davao would not be complete without trying these durian flavored treats.
Another Davao specialty is the world-famous Malagos Chocolate. Malagos Chocolates are made from premium single-origin cacao grown on the farms in the foothills of Mount Talomo in Davao City.
Because Malagos Chocolates are made from cacao that is sourced from only one region, it has a more distinct and pronounced taste. Be sure to sample Malagos Chocolate products when you visit Davao City.
Recommended Best Restaurants and Bars
Davao does not run short of restaurants. From Visayan cuisine, Filipino street food, Chinese cuisine, to Halal restaurants, you have plenty to choose from. Here are some of the recommended places to dine and drink in Davao.
If you’re looking for sumptuous home-cooked meals and mouthwatering desserts, drop by Lachi’s. Davao’s Lachi’s is a family-run restaurant in Downtown Davao.
This restaurant initially made its name selling delicious desserts, but you can also get hearty meals in this rustic restaurant. When you’re at Lachi’s be sure to try their famous Durian cheesecake and carrot cake!
Roxas Night Market
There is no better place to experience authentic Filipino street food in Davao than at the Roxas Night Market. Here you can taste different cuisines that Davao has to offer; it the ultimate food trip destination in the city.
You can find several stalls that serve barbecue, home-cooked and grilled fresh seafood, veggies, meat, and many more. Roxas Night Market is also a great place to hang out, mingle with locals, and enjoy a cold drink.
The Vegan Dinosaur
Another highly recommended restaurant in Davao is a vegan joint called the Vegan Dinosaur. If you’re vegan or into vegan cuisine, this is your go-to place.
Try out their nourish bowls and delicious salads such as Tofu Barbeque and Corn and Tofu Buddha Bowl. They also have soy-free food such as Spicy Cheese Open Toasties and Cheese Melt Tortilla Chips.
Rebecca’s Halal BBQ and Restaurant
Davao is home to thousands of Muslim families. Thus, there is no shortage of Muslim-friendly restaurants in the city. Whether you are Muslim or craving for Halal cuisine, try Rebecca’s Halal Barbecue and Restaurant.
It is one of the top recommended Halal joints in Davao. Rebecca’s is a veritable local favorite when it comes to halal barbecue.
Chef Lu’s Restaurant
If you’re craving for Chinese cuisine, Chef Lu’s Restaurant comes highly recommended. Chef Lu’s Restaurant serves wok-cooked Chinese dishes. They also offer traditional dishes prepared with a modern twist.
Aside from Chinese cuisine, Chef Lu’s also has a full-service sushi bar that also serves cocktail drinks and beer. What you shouldn’t miss out in Chef Lu’s should be their authentic Szechuan cuisine experience.
Kusina sa Subli
If you want to experience Filpino comfort food and fresh seafood, make a beeline for Kusina sa Subli. This restaurant serves home-cooked type meals and offers boodle feasts as well.
However, their most popular dish is the Southside Burger and Pakfry. Kusina sa Subli is also known for its grilled seafood, so try their Grilled Tuna Belly when you get the chance.
Practical Information and Tips
For a hassle-free and convenient trip to Davao, it's essential to read up on useful tips. These will come in handy if it's your first time in Davao
Major establishments in Davao accept payments in Philippine Peso (PHP). There are several ATMs and money changers in Downtown Davao. However, there are only a few in Samal Island.
So be sure to withdraw more than enough cash and have your currencies changed while in Davao City proper. ATMs are available in most establishments, such as malls and convenience stores. However, not all establishments may accept credit card payments.
If you're in Davao and you want to address a local, expect an answer in either Cebuano, Tagalog, or English. Most locals understand English well, so don't be afraid to ask questions or directions. Say hi/hello first when approaching them to establish a friendly tone. Who knows? You might earn a new friend in the process.
Sample Itinerary in Davao
With all the activities and attractions you can explore in Davao, we suggest a 3-day trip. Three days should cover most of the major attractions. Here's a sample itinerary to guide you in planning yours.
Day 1: Davao Sightseeing
09:00 AM - ETD from NAIA in Manila
10:00 AM - ETA at Davao International Airport
10:30 AM - Check-in at the hotel, unpack and relax
12:00 NN - Lunch at Lachi’s
01:00 PM - Visit the Eden Nature Park; join the guided shuttle tour and try the skyrider, skycycle, and the sky swing.
04:00 PM - Visit the Philippine Eagle Center
06:30 PM - Chill at the hotel
07:00 PM Onwards - Dinner at the Roxas Night Market
Day 2: Island-Hopping in Samal Island
07:00 AM - Breakfast
08:00 AM - Depart from Davao City and start of Samal Island-Hopping Tour: Malipano Island, Diaz Island, Taklobo Sanctuary, Dela Paz Island, and Starfish Sanctuary
12:00 NN - Lunch on board
01:00 PM - Snorkelling in the Samal Coral Garden
03:00 PM - Head back to Davao City
05:00 PM - Arrival at Hotel
06:00 PM - Dinner at Chef Lu’s Restaurant
Day 3: Davao City Sightseeing + Departure
07:00 AM - Breakfast
09:00 AM - Check out the Malagos Chocolate Museum
11:00 AM - Continue Davao sightseeing tour; Kadayawan Village
12:00 NN - Lunch at Kusina sa Subli
01:30 PM - Head to Davao International Airport
Start Planning Your Davao Trip Now!
Explore the Crown Jewel of Mindanao and find out for yourself why Davao is one of the top destinations in the country. Discover idyllic tropical beaches and islands in Samal Island, hike Mount Apo, take a relaxing stroll at Eden Nature Park, go sightseeing in the city and visit the Philippine Eagle, and feast on local delicacies like chocolates and fruits like the famous durian.
Pack your bags and plan that Davao trip. Find Davao tours and activities that you can add to your itinerary for a hassle-free adventure.
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